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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Crash and Burn

The magnitude of these amazing temples took me by surprise. I have been reading about the temples at Angkor. Reading about them and seeing pictures online does them absolutely no justice.
As I walked down what seemed like a mile long entrance to Angkor Wat I had Native American music playing in my headphones to get myself in the zone and not
hear the hundreds of other tourists around me. I was in absolute awe of this enormous temple. It took me over 3 hours just to see Angkor Wat. Now after you finish with this amazingly huge temple that is just the beginning of the adventure. the temples here are spread out over almost 40km and there are ancient temple sights everywhere.
I met a French and Dutch guy and an Israeli woman on the grounds of Angkor, they were sitting on the ground stretching and I approached them and we started doing
yoga right there on the temple ground.
You can totally see my bike shorts while I'm doing my headstand, hahahaha. So we all hung out for the rest of the day. After some roadside fruit we all hopped on our bikes and headed towards the next temple. We stopped and fed wild monkeys along the way. Don't look them in the eyes! We got to the next temple called Bayon, this is the one with all the faces. this temple was stunning also. So much to explore in this temple. Secret passageways and wells going so deep into the ground you can't see to the bottom. Hundreds of Buddha faces with smiles on their faces like they know something you don't. We spent hours here and actually only made it around to view a few more temples before it got dark, we did not do any more exploring. Good thing I bought a 3 day pass good for one week.

Ok, here's the story you have all been waiting for. After leaving my friends from around the world I headed back towards Siem Reap and this guy on a black Cannondale road bike rides up to me and greets me, he has clearly been here for a long time. He has a Kroma wrapped around his head. So I started riding with him, he was a strong rider, spinning along at 20mph which is a good pace for me with a super heavy steel bike with a rack and big thick tires. He showed me all these cool back roads to bypass traffic. All of a sudden swarms of bugs came out of nowhere and they were relentless, slamming into my face, going in my eyes, mouth and beard. We were on this quiet backroad and I pulled my hat down to cover my eyes from the swarms of bugs and I asked Bruce if the road had any potholes or anything I needed to watch out for, he told me the road was fine and there were no potholes. We rode on for about 10 minutes or so and WHAM@!#@!$# I slammed into the back of a parked pickup truck. It was the hardest and scariest bicycle accident I have ever been in. I was thrown from bike into the bed of the truck and I slammed into the cab and bounced back onto the ground landing on my bike. Now the bed of the truck was filled with hand-woven baskets that the guys wife probably made. These things saved my life. It all happened so fast and quickly I had about 20 villagers all standing around me and Bruce came over and said are you ok? Hahahaha, I said I don't know and wiggled each hand and foot and thought to myself, holy shit! I didn't break anything. I rolled off my bike and was covered in liquid, luckily it was just water from my bottles busting open. I had so much adrenaline rushing through my veins I stood up and inspected my bike. My tire was bent back behind my toptube and there was a huge kink in my frame. A sweeping feeling of
fear came through my whole body. My bicycle is my life over here, it is my best friend and it allows me total freedom to travel when and where I want. I thought, oh shit I'm going to have to take busses and tuk tuk's and motor bike taxis everywhere I go, NOOOOOOOOO I'm going to have to be a backpaker!!! Bruce insisted we walk away from the gawking crowd so I picked my bike up and we headed down the road to wait for his wife to pick us up. As the adrenaline wore off my knees started killing me. I could tell something was wrong.

It's a couple days later now and I have learned an important lesson. Never let your guard down in SE Asia, cause everything happens so fast! My knees are still swollen and I am resting them. I will most likely have to go to
Thailand and buy a new frame and parts for my bike. I swear now before all of you. I will finish this trip and ride again. Even if I have to buy a motor bike and finish it on that :-)


  1. So sorry your bike got smashed... But, I'm REALLY glad you had only minor injuries to your sore knees... More important to me than even your bike is your CAMERA! So glad your camera made it!

    Keep posting! I am a faithful reader...

    Be well, Lois "Profe" Cooper!

  2. Awwww Swiftness! Bummer deal! You'll find a way to keep riding I'm sure. Real sorry to hear about this. Good luck finding an inexpensive frame.